How to live life to your fullest potential as a freelancer?


11 May 2023
You are a freelancer, but sometimes wonder if you're doing it right? Those tips will help you live your life to the fullest potential.

Improve your life by finding a job that you love

It’s very important to start somewhere as a self-employed person doing freelance jobs, but after some time, we should always strive for a better place and to find our true potential. As freelancers, if we have already found out what we love about this job, we can still improve by writing to different clients and showing them our portfolios for more contract work, new tasks, jobs, working on a different project, and so on.

Creating a brand for ourselves plays a big factor in freelancing, and we can develop that through the use of different platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and so on. It might take an hour, two, or even dozens, and although challenging, it is important advice to continue striving to improve. And that applies both at work and in our private lives. If you’d like to improve your personal branding as an independent contractor, see our post with tips on personal branding.

Assess your priorities

Assessing the priorities as people and as freelancers from around the world who have jobs to fulfill may seem daunting, especially when new in the business. It’s not easy for some people who do freelance work to look within themselves and say, “I want this” or “This takes priority over that” because it implies responsibility, choices, and consequences for our actions.

It seems to be the only way to take control of our lives as much as possible though, especially as self-employed workers. Through specific tasks, assessing our priorities, and being able to say “yes” and “no” at the appropriate times, the focus we pay to things improves, both at work and in our private time.

As mentioned above, introspection, journaling, and talking to someone close (spouse, friend, therapist, etc.) can offer us a great benefit in understanding what we want and what we don’t want. Then comes the hard part, where most people struggle: Implementing them step by step into our lives and in our freelance work.

It is also important to think of priorities in the context of hours per week, pay, sleep schedule, health insurance, job opportunities vs. demands, and many other aspects any full-time freelancers or independent workers, in general, should take into account.

Establish boundaries

Boundaries are the natural step after assessing our priorities. To be able to fulfill what the client or company needs and also live by our priorities, even as workers conducting business or family members spending time with our close ones, it is of the utmost importance to listen and spend time on creating boundaries.

What are boundaries in the end? They are the culmination of how we exercise our needs in a way that is authentic to us and to no one else. For a freelancer, boundaries are important in the balance of work life and home life, as they let us prioritize and enjoy our life, regardless of which side’s turn is now: job or free time.

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Set boundaries, work hours, and “home hours”

Freelancers with full-time employment and part-time freelancers alike get the benefits of the things we talked about above, as many employers and employees create a mental map of what they are comfortable with, what they would be willing to try, and what is off the menu for them. Self-discipline is an excellent example of something clients, and workers must show to create boundaries.

This can apply to many projects in life, and it can surely help to reach that elusive equilibrium that most people strive for, be it in a company, as a freelancer, or generally as a person. To set boundaries, we freelancers must understand our needs, accept them as usual and act accordingly. The last part might be a bit vague because the scenarios are so vast, but some things can apply and can be understood.

For example, when a client offers us to try something new, we could take a small break and feel whether we want that in our career or not. Then, if we don’t want to do that specific thing, we would have to say “no” to the task.

It depends on the situation, so personal judgment is advised. But saying yes when we mean to say no can be understood as hurting ourselves. And hurting the balance we strive to reach while freelancing and generally living.

Setting goals (and how to stick to them)

Once we have figured out prioritizing and creating healthy boundaries both at home and at work, it’s time to look forward toward goals.

What are goals?

The most important benefit of setting goals to improve your life is a feeling of accomplishment when you do reach those goals. They can also motivate a self-employed worker who does freelancing along the way to reaching his or her goals and create a degree of discipline in pursuing them. To put it in fewer words: goals give us structure, so they’re helpful for self-improvement, work-life balance, mental health, development of our skills, and our life and career in general, especially since freelancing tends to lack structure sometimes.


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The SMART goals

There are many ways to create goals for oneself, but one of the most used and easy to create powerful goals is the SMART criteria, created by George T. Doran in 1981, which most freelancers already know of.

SMART is an acronym that helps us remember that goals should be specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related. Each of these attributes is important for our job (and income), so it needs to be each of the following:

Specific – to target a specific area for improvement in our private or work life. Measurable – to quantify or at least suggest a way to measure progress. Assignable – to specify who will do it. Realistic – to state what results can realistically be achieved with the resources we have available. Time-related – to specify when the result can be achieved.

Some examples of SMART goals could be: “I’m going to write a 60,000-word novel in 6 months, finishing at the end of autumn. I will do this by writing 300 words per day.” or “I’m going to watch a Youtube training program to be able to hike for 7 days straight in 6 months from now without stopping.”

The most important thing to keep in mind here is to use our creativity and follow the guidelines provided above.

Make time for yourself and your loved ones

One other important aspect as freelancers regarding our work and private life equilibrium is to include some time for whatever we want to do, whatever we wish, and for the people that are important in our lives.

That could mean physical activity, meeting an old friend, drinking a coffee in the morning, checking if we’re on the way to achieving our desired income, spending an hour or two of quality time to feel good in general, all of them with an array of benefits. Every bit helps in self-growth.

Good, good, good. Now where do I start?

As a final idea, if you do want to change, try to write on some paper what works and what would need to be changed in your life. Ask a friend for an opinion. Be open. Be curious. Good luck!


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